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Der Himmel

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I didn't plan on writing today, so I'm going to do my best to type as fast as I can. I have hit major writer's block, but I don't want to continue to not write home!!
Quick update: Transfer calls came last week, and Sister Vreugdenhil and I are staying in Flensburg. It felt like April this past week. I got a splinter in my finger.
This past weekend was our fast and testimony meeting during church, this just means that we take the time to fast for 2 consecutive meals and on Sunday we all have the opportunity to share our testimony with the congregation if we want to. Elder Carl B. Pratt gave an amazing talk about the purpose of fasting and the blessings that come with it, read it here.
One of our senior members shared her testimony about God. She shared an experience she has during World War II. She told us that she was with her mother and younger brother in their garden. In the time of the war, they had very little to sustain themselves. She said that while they were in t…

I believe

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I don't think I have shared my testimony about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of the Book of Mormon as many times as I have within this past week! It has been quite faith building.
I had a pretty interesting experience on Saturday specifically. We got up and planned for our day, like normal. We had no appointments made out, so we planned 6 hours of talking to people on the streets (aka finding). As we continued to plan where we wanted to go finding, Sister Vreugdenhil and I instantly felt that we needed to leave Flensburg and go to a further part of our area. We looked at a map of our area (our area covers the west to the east coast of the border to Denmark and South, extending to the Schleswig area). We both felt attracted to Schleswig and Kappeln, the east. We're supposed to go Schleswig next week, so we decided to go to Kappeln. Almost immediately we felt that we needed to check the buses that would take us there. We both felt that it …

He knows me better

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This week I studied the definition of having faith in Jesus Christ. This was done in preparation for a talk I gave in church yesterday, but I know God wanted to teach me through my preparation. I think the biggest thing I've learned on my mission is that Heavenly Father knows each of his children personally. And boy have I had many moments when he's told me so through other people.
As I prepared to write my talk, it didn't take me long to realize I was guided to the topic of faith, repentance, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ because I needed to remind myself of them. Serving a mission has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life because of my constant reliance of God. As a missionary it doesn't take too long to realize that you need Him. For the success and progress of your friends, your area, your companion, your family at home, for yourself. You need him. Its as simple as that. You have no control over anything, but the most essential thing you do have c…

But are ya happy?

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The end of Monday was the best thing that could ever happen to me. We had just gotten out of a teaching appointment with one of our friends of the church, and were starving. We had enough time to go into a bakery and grab something quick to then catch our bus. We get into this bakery and right as we're about to get a piece of bread, one of the ladies there approaches us and asks us if we knew about their happy hour special. Apparently after a certain hour, you can fill a medium sized bag with whatever bread you want... for only 4€! I was so happy. In that moment I knew God really does love me.
I've encountered moments on my mission where missionary work can appear to be burden, if chosen to look at it in that way. 3-4 hours of finding every day, hearing "ich habe kein Zeit," "ich habe kein Interesse daf├╝r," and "Nein" on a daily basis, and being rained on and cold can break motivation and purpose faster than anything I can think of. And although so…

Mountains to move

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I don't know what it was about this week, but time just hit me like a truck and ran me over. I cannot believe how fast time is going by. It feels so unreal.
This week was an awesome week. I think the highlight of my week was when we walked out the door one morning. Sister Vreugdenhil turned to me and asked me if I was bringing an umbrella with me, and I recalled seeing the sun during our morning study so I said no. Well, the joke was on us. We were 1/2 way to our bus stop when it began to rain. We continued to walk and figured it would pass, like it normally does. Well, the joke was on us... again. Upon immediately saying that, it began to pour. And pour. And pour. We ran down the hill we were on and I was just praying that we wouldn't slip or fall.
We've seen miracles happen this week. I mean they always happen, but we've recognized them more this week than the last. I'm excited to see what these next 4ish weeks have in store!
I know the reason why my eyes have been …

Moin Moin

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My travel to Flensburg was quite long and interesting. On the train ride to Hamburg I sat in a cabin with an elderly German woman. Little did I know that she spoke Spanish! She sang to me for like 5 minutes in Spanish haha, it was quite an enjoyable journey.  I've had quite the luck of serving in some of the most beautiful cities in Germany. The closest thing I could compare Flensburg to is Cape May, New Jersey. After having spent the entire summer away from the ocean, it's refreshing to be back on a coast. Sister Vreugdenhil is my new companion; she's from Austria, so I'm expecting to be fluent in German by the end of our companionship haha. She really is the sweetest and we're both setting a foundation here in Flensburg. The Sisters program was just barely put into the area last transfer after the Elders were moved out. We have a lot of work and finding to do, and we're excited!! This week my testimony of God has grown just a bit bigger. Europe has just launche…

Die Quelle der Freude

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Well this week was full of changes and Spanish. For some reason every day this week we met someone who's mother tongue is Spanish or we taught someone in Spanish. It was awesome to see how the Lord has lead us to his prepared children this entire transfer.
This past weekend I was released from my calling as the Spanish group leader. It has been decided by the general authorities that all of the language programs except for those with missionaries called to speak those languages as their mission language will be discontinued-- the remaining groups are Farsi, Turkish, and Chinese. Within these past 6 weeks I have grown to love my mother tongue in a way I had not before. I have seen miracles happen within my mission and the Spanish speakers living here, as well as with the missionaries who decided to learn Spanish as their second mission language. These 6 weeks were short but so much was accomplished. There may no longer be a Spanish group, but the work within the Spanish language i…

The power of the Book of Mormon

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Yesterday was the best Sunday ever. A couple weeks ago we stopped a blind man to speak to him. After noticing his accent, I asked him where he was from and he said he was from Cuba. He was waiting for his wife to get off of work, so we talked to him while he waited. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and who we are as missionaries. His wife joined us in the middle of us testifying of the Book of Mormon being the word of God. We asked if we could exchange contact information and they said it was more than alright and that we could stop by their home anytime.
Last week, Sister Olsen and I had a feeling that we needed to visit Alejandrina and Anache. We went as soon as we were able to, which turned out to be around 17. We got to the apartment door and we both did not expect them to be home, but we klingeled anyway. They answered the klingel and after a long pause they let us in. We continued to teach them about the Book of Mormon, where it comes from, and why we have it. We left the…

Believe only

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One of my favorite stories from the life of Jesus Christ is when Jairus comes to him. Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, and his daughter was on the verge of death. He came to Jesus and fell on his feet, and besought him to heal his only daughter. In the book of Mark we read that Jesus went with Jairus. On the way to Jairus' home, a woman who suffered from hemorrhage touched the Master's garment. Knowing virtue had left from him, Jesus stopped walking. The woman presented herself to the Master out of fear. Jesus then proceeded to tell her to leave in peace; her faith made her whole. As Jairus and Jesus were about to continue on their way, another ruler of the synagogue's house came and said Jairus' daughter had died, and there was no longer a purpose to bother the Master anymore. Upon hearing that, Jesus commanded them to "be not afraid, believe only" (Mark 5:36) As we know, Jesus went forward and raised her from the dead.

To fear not and to believe is a co…

1/2 way there

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Where has the time gone? I will be hitting my 9 month mark this Wednesday and   it is honestly the most unbelievable thing ever. 
Since being on a mission, I have learned so many things. My relationship with God has grown immensely within these past 9 months, which in other circumstances would have taken years to develop. I would say I am pretty honest in my emails home, serving a mission is tough. I have been tried in ways that I know were divinely designed for me so that I can grow. Facing trials and understanding them is tough, but learning to trust God and learning to turn to Him in every aspect of life is precious.
As I have been serving in Germany, my testimony of God having a plan for all of his children has only grown stronger. Every day we are on God's errand. Every day we talk to people we do not know in a language we do not know-- that is a miracle within itself. We ask them if they believe in God and that he is their Father, what they believe the purpose of life is, w…